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Thread: Closed - Open - Semi-Open headphones

  1. #1
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    Closed - Open - Semi-Open headphones

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    OK, so "open" cause a problem by leaking sound, which can be a problem when tracking with microphones. That I understand. That's all I understand.

    Out side of that, which is preferred?
    What the heck is 'semi-open?
    What are so few open or semi open, and most closed?

    Thank you.
    Babylon Sister

  2. #2
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    Closed-back headphones are ideal for tracking, as they provide the most isolation from outside sound getting in and headphone sound getting out (aka bleed) which can mainly be a problem when doing vocals since you and the headphones stand very close to the mic when the bleed from semi-open or poor fitting headphones could get into the mic and you end up with your vocal track plus some ambient, backing track signal mixed in.
    It's not always a problem, but ideally you don't want anything there but your vocals.

    Semi-open headphones allow a little of the outside sound to come in, they are more natural sounding and are preferred if you want to do some basic mixing/listening/editing with them, however, you CAN also use them for tracking where "bleed" would not be much of an issue and you don't want/need solid isolation from the outside sounds.
    I use my semi-open all the time for tracking guitars, keys, etc...there are no mics near the headphones, so bleed is not an issue and I like to be able to hear some of the "room sound", especially when playing guitars, though most times I don't pay too much attention which type of headphone I grab for tracking, unless I'm doing vocals, and then I go for the closed-back...though as I said, the semi-open usually sound better than comparable closed-back models...IMHO.

  3. #3
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    Just as miroslav said really.
    I'd add that you will most likely use open and semi-open in the same way. Just one [theoretically] lets in and out a bit less sound. Though I'm sure there are exceptions. There are ALWAYS exceptions. But definitely closed is a good idea for vocals if you want to try completely isolate the headphone sounds being recorded on the vocal track.
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